Today I was reading in the book of 1 Samuel (chapter 25), and I was touched by something I read and how it spoke to things going on today. So bear with me, as I’m going to put an Old Testament story into my own words, and allow it to speak to your heart also what the Holy Spirit spoke to me.
There was a man named Nabal. He was a wealthy guy with land and herds, which gave him power in a way, but he also was hard-hearted. David happens to be near Nabal’s land when he’s running from Saul. In the area where Nabal’s sheep have been grazing, David and his men have been kind to Nabal’s servants, not taking their supplies (even though they outnumbered them and could have), and actually going so far as to surround and protect the herds from outside aggression.
David and his men are in a place where they’ve been falsely accused and treated unfairly by the murderous Saul (who if you remember, was influenced by Satan at times). In their running for their life they need some food, and thinking ‘well, we’ve been kind and helpful to Nabal’s men. Let’s ask him in humility if he can spare some kindness (and food) our way.
Nabal refuses. He even shouts back insults their way, like, ‘why should I help you? Your problem isn’t my problem!’
Nabal had what he needed, and even though evil forces were trying to murder David, Nabal turned his back on him. Nabal was quite comfortable in his good life. Why get involved in this Saul/David squabble. In fact, how dare David ask for his help, or expect kindness when he’s being unjustly pursued.
But enter Abagail. Oh, Abagail. My heart smiles.
She’s standing back watching all this. Servants brought it to her attention and she’s like, ‘this isn’t right!’
Meanwhile, David is rightfully angry. He’s like, ‘why is Nabal so mad and hurling insults at me? I have been kind, helped him, and now when I need him in this situation I’m in, that I did nothing to cause, he throws shade my way! That’s it! It’s on!’
David is ready to throw down with Nabal. Kill him, in fact. He gathers his men and says ‘let’s march!’
Look. God doesn’t want David to pay back Nabal. He knows that evil for evil is pointless, and that in the end, it will only harm David more. So God raises up Abigail to stand in the gap.
Abagail gets together a ‘love offering,’ if you will, of water, bread, meat, and takes it directly to David. I like that she didn’t send her servants to do this. She went. Just a woman (remember the station of women in Biblical times). She had no real authority, but she did have the truth and sight of the situation, so she went forward in love.
She meets David halfway in his march to put a hurting on Nabal. She jumps off her donkey and apologizes to David! Y’all, she didn’t do a darn thing wrong. So, why is she apologizing?! It’s like she decides wrong has been done. Nabal can’t see it. Someone has to speak for what’s right. Someone has to help David and his men who have been treated so unjustly by Saul (the king, super power).
Abagail says she’s sorry for Nabal not seeing this. She’s sorry he’s so full of himself that he can’t see what’s right. That he can’t see it in his heart to help someone who is oppressed. She says ‘here David. Take these supplies. Please accept my apology for Nabal. I will stand in his place for what he did. Blame me!’
In our humanness we can’t imagine why she would do this. It’s her pig-headed husband who’s being a jerk. Yet, I think God put this on her heart. I think He opened her eyes to what was wrong, and even though she wasn’t wrong, per se, Nabal was her husband. He wouldn’t humble himself, but she could in his place. God didn’t want David causing himself and his men more harm by doing evil. So He appointed Abagail to intercede and to stand up for justice, to stand in the gap and offer love.
That was all David needed. He let go of his anger to kill Nabal. In the end, like, less than a month later, Nabal died! Talk about God fighting for you!
David says to Abagail after, ‘the Lord knew I didn’t need to pay back evil with evil. So He sent you to me. Now, God has taken up my cause and fought the battle for me.’
Then he married her. ? That part makes me laugh. But remember, women had no way to support themselves at this time. So really David marrying her is God’s way of providing for her after her husband’s evil causes his demise. She did what was right in God’s eyes, the evil is taken care of by God, and then God takes care of Abagail for following His lead. Talk about an inspiring story!
Y’all, I want to be an Abagail! I want to stand for what’s right. I want God to be able to open my eyes when something near to me is wrong. Even if I haven’t done the wrong, per se, I want to see it and act accordingly. I don’t want to stay in my comfortable home and send my servants with some money for the cause. I want to get on my donkey, take the journey, then jump off my ass (see what I did there) and stand in the gap. Humble myself, because y’all, scripture says she threw her face into the dirt at David’s feet. Wow. Talk about humility.
I want to be an Abagail. I want God to use me to prevent harm, to shine His light and truth before further harm ensues. I want to be used by God to provide myself where He leads, to give to those who need my help, and to even get dirty (laying in the desert sand) if that’s what it takes.
Do you want to be an Abagail too? Understand that many people will not understand your actions, but God will reward your heart that mirrors His own.